Monday, February 16, 2015

PLUM ISLAND, Massachusetts……1937

My oldest sister Mary is gone now but she was the one who gave me the particulars surrounding this photo. I had heard family members speak of Plum Island over the years but I really don’t remember going there. Also I was confused because I couldn’t fathom how we would be able to afford the whole summer of 1937 on vaction in New England. We had very little money then with 5 girls to clothe and feed...and we lived in New Jersey, nowhere near the shoreline of Massachusetts.

However, according to Mary, our Mother suffered from severe back pains and a friend of the family offered us his cottage on the island for the summer. We girls ranged in age from 4 ½ (that was me, the youngest) to 13 years, so we would be able to care for ourselves and enable Mother to get a well deserved rest.

Our get-away was spent in a tiny cottage named “Alice”. It was one of a group of compact little wooden structures and was directly on the beach. Although we had a rudimentary kitchen there were no bathroom facilities and our community of families shared an outside shower and an outhouse.

There was a small store, a run down board walk and an open-air building where we could play games, listen to music and work on jig saw puzzles. No TV’s, cell phones, or other distractions ... just lots of sun, sand and ocean.

As I gaze again at that picture I can’t help but chuckle at the silly little girl (me) with the bottle on her head. Little did I know then that “putting the cork in the bottle” was to play a huge part in my later life. I certainly didn’t seem to be worried about it then !


Blogger KGMom said...

What a great childhood memory. Isn't it fascinating how memory provides us with snippets--thank goodness for others who shared an experience to help fill in the blanks.
By the way, is Plum Island the same one as used in the book of that title? That novel features a medical facility used for testing which, perhaps predictably, goes awry.

4:51 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

A wistful time, even if you don't remember it directly.

5:02 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

That sounds like an idyllic summer. We only had one all summer vacation that was on a boat. It lives in my memories as the best ever. It was also to help my mother's health.

7:46 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Great story of your family. What a nice thing to give your mother a respite. And give you children a summer of fun.

8:41 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Ginnie--the book I read was by author Nelson DeMille, and it was titled PLUM ISLAND. It does feature an animal researcg facility, concentrating on diseases. The book is a thriller, so of course something goes wrong.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

From the description of Plum Island you provided courtesy of your sister's, it seems you all had everything needed for a summer of fun, family and memories, Ginnie.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful photo.

I have a few similar ones from the same period and just about every little girl in them has your haircut.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Such a great photo. Sounds like a wonderful place to vacation too. My wife and I spent several weeks over the years at Portsmouth Island off the NC coast. Very primitive but so relaxing.

I have to tell you that we have a Plum Island here in Charleston and it is the sewage treatment plant for the city. LOL.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice story Ginnie. Yes, "put a cork" in it is a wise thing for many. We never had summer vacations until I was a teen and we rented a cottage in northern WI near family.

That was a special trip. I caught my first 'bullhead' known as catfish in the South. Mostly we fished, scaled and cleaned fish, mom cooked and we ate the fish. Thinking about it now I wonder if she felt it was a vacation, especially when our relatives began arriving to spend some time with us in our cottage.

7:08 AM  

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